Ariz. board OKs closing 3 parks due to budget cuts

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Many parks in danger

PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) -- The state Parks Board voted Friday to close three state parks and cancel and suspend $27 million in grants in response to budget cuts imposed by the Legislature.

The parks that the board authorized the Parks Department to close within weeks are McFarland Historic in Florence, Jerome Historic in Jerome and Tonto Natural Bridge near Payson.

McFarland is already effectively closed because of a building's major structural problems, and buildings at Jerome and Tonto also require urgent repairs.

The board on Friday did not approve a recommendation to close two additional parks -- Homolovi in Winslow and Oracle in Oracle.

However, members and Executive Director Ken Travous said it is clear that more parks will have to be closed.

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